Leonotis leonurus, Lion's tail or Wild Dagga is native to South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe where it grows in grassland, forest clearings, and along riverbanks and on rocky slopes. It forms a tall leafy shrub with thin squarish stems that turn woody and bear distinctive orange verticillasters that resemble those of the genus Phlomis to which it is closely related. It likes full sun and a well-drained soil and as its young stems are somewhat brittle it is best grown in a sheltered aspect out of the wind; a south-facing wall is ideal. In the UK it is often grown as an annual but best results are achieved by digging it up before the frosts and overwintering it in a cool glasshouse. It can be cut back and given some shape before spring growth starts.
|Synonyms||Hemisodon leonurus, Leonurus africanus, Leonurus grandiflorus, Leonurus superbus, Phlomis leonurus, Phlomis speciosa|
|Geographical Origin||South Africa, Angola|
|Cultivation||Full sun. A warm sheltered aspect away from the wind. Well-drained soil. Pot up and bring in to a cool glasshouse for winter|
|Eventual Height||1.3m - 2m|
|Hardiness||Tender. Half-hardy only in warmer locations and favorable micro-climates once it has developed woody stems. Bring into an unheated glasshouse for winter and cover with fleece if it starts getting seriously cold|
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